Nottingham city council looking to further hit landlords
A new licencing scheme being proposed by Nottingham City Council could have a big impact on landlords and tenants in the city. The new scheme would see rented properties in Nottingham requiring a licence, with the full-price of the licence expected to be £600. With over 40,000 eligible properties in the local area, this could lead to the council bringing in a sum of £25m.
With those figures, it is easy to see why Nottingham City Council is interested in this scheme. The consultation process for these proposals are set to begin this month and they are expected to carry on until March of 2017. If the proposal is approved, the scheme could be in place by the spring of 2018. A landlord with a string of properties could be faced with a huge bill while even a landlord with a single property would be faced with a large fee on a one-off basis. There is talk that landlords who are accredited will receive a £140 discount, but even with that, a fee of £460 per licence is still a lot of money.
The licence will be valid for 5 years
Under the proposed plans, the licence would be in place for 5 years, and at this point in time, a landlord would require a separate licence for every individual property they own. As you would expect, there has been criticism for these proposals. Landlords have complained about the additional cost being imposed on them and of course, many people believe that any charge imposed on landlords will merely be passed on to the tenant in raised rental fees.
The Council says this scheme is necessary in order to improve the standards associated with the rental market in Nottingham. The council has claimed that 4,500 complaints have been made regarding private rental sector homes. The complaints have covered a wide variety of topics, ranging from cockroach infestations to electrical wiring that isn’t up to standard.
There is a large rental market in Nottingham. The student population has played a part in this and Census figures suggest that the proportion of privately rented property in the local area has risen by 12% in the period between 2001 and 2011. This is an increase which is 3% higher than the average rise across England. The council has also blamed poorly maintained and managed properties as being a significant factor in increasing crime levels and instances of anti-social behaviour. In addition to paying the fee, landlord would be required to show that they are able to provide a good standard of service and that the properties they let are of a suitable calibre.
The Council believes this licence will be of benefit to tenants
The Council claims that a landlord owning a licence will provide confidence to potential tenants about what they can expect to receive from the landlord. The Residential Landlords Association is opposed to this style of licence in general and they believe the costs involved with the licence will punish the good landlords as opposed to weeding out poor landlords.
Given that landlords have had to deal with so many issues from the Government in recent years, there will be widespread disappointment that Nottingham City Council have made similar moves to impact on a landlord’s ability to provide rental options. It is important to be aware that there is a chance to voice opinions on this matter and anyone who holds an opinion one way or another is advised to say so before the consultation period ends in March of 2017.